Motivation to Move

I had been working on a weighty post about personal boundaries and interpersonal relationships, but I haven’t been feeling inspired about the subject lately.  I thought I would turn to things that are lighter and fresher in my mind.

My husband and I recently acquired (through my husband’s very generous parents) step trackers!  For the first couple of weeks that I had mine, I mostly just monitored my steps throughout a typical week and found that, on days where I just went to work and did not go for a walk or to the gym, I wasn’t reaching the 10,000-step goal.  On days where I either went to the gym or took a short neighborhood walk, I hit 10,000 easily.  Not very shocking, but informative.

My husband has been very motivated by his tracker and, as a result, we are hitting the gym almost every night!  It’s been a big change in my level of overall fitness and is forcing me to re-look at my goals about my body.  Since I’ve started exercising, my weight has just not budged.  I’ve lost 2 inches off my waistline, but the number on the scale is just sitting there.  Also, recently, I’ve had a couple of days where I have pushed myself too far and gotten overly sick or tired.

As a result of these events, this week, I’m going to focus on some new goals and new ways of thinking about the goals:

  1. Run a total of 5 miles over the week.  Thinking of my distance as something to cover over a week will, hopefully, keep me from pushing myself too much if I’m not feeling up for it.  Reaching that 2-mile goal on any given day is not worth sick-fatigue.
  2. Get 10k steps every day.  Pretty easy to accomplish as long as I set aside time for it.
  3. Track calories to plan for a Halloween party on Friday.  Less during the week so that, at the party, I can enjoy snacks and beers 🙂

I can feel a change in the way I view my body.  It’s slow, but over time I’m trying to learn to view my body more as something that can do cool things, like run and explore new places and be strong, as less as something to be looked at for decoration only.  And, since I believe I am no more than a body, I now view physical health differently than before.  I see my physical health as being tied to mental and emotional health, since it all works together to make all the chemicals behave in a more-optimal manner.

I used to not really care about physical health beyond wanting to look pretty, and I used to hate the way physical activity made me feel.  For a long time, running (more than other forms of exercise) was very painful and humiliating.  I wanted to punch all those people who talk about how awesome running is and how it’s so relaxing or invigorating.  No, for a long time, running just sucked.  Now, sticking with it for over a year, some days it feels pretty good.  My heart doesn’t pound like it’s going to break out of my chest anymore, and I don’t get so wheezy like I used to.  But I still get some stomach cramps, occasional nausea, and random aches and pains in my joints and muscles.  Every once in a while, though, I have a really good, calm feeling in my body after a good run.  My lungs will feel like I breathed in some cleansing air.  My muscles will feel like they accomplished something today.  And mentally, I think, “Yeah, I ran 2 miles.  Way to go me!”

Overall, the step tracker will hopefully keep me motivated to, maybe some day, reach my weight goal and continue improving my fitness level.  It’s a reminder to start a new habit and to keep with it!

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